Surrey County Council strike
The Unison union in Surrey County Council, which represents 3,000 workers, has called a second strike on Thursday of next week to continue the dispute with the council over pay.
The workers have demanded a 4 percent pay rise, or £500, whatever is greater, backdated to April 2006. Workers struck for a day earlier this month.
The council, taking its lead from chancellor Gordon Brown’s call for public sector pay to be capped, wants them to take a 2 percent pay rise this year, and 2 percent next year.
With inflation set to reach 4 percent by the end of the year, the deal could amount to an effective 4 percent pay cut over two years.
Bectu has won a really useful deal
Workers in the Bectu media union have won recognition for collective bargaining at Seetickets, the ticket agency owned by the Really Useful Theatre Company.
This followed staff voting overwhelmingly in support of the union at the company’s London West End offices.
The staff, who are employed in the company’s groups, trade and dispatch departments, do not come within the scope of the union’s collective agreement with Solt, the West End employers’ association.
Strike action at BBC Worldwide
Members of the National Union of Journalists at BBC Worldwide struck on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week over the company’s refusal to match the retail price index (RPI) inflation figure of 3 percent at the time of the annual pay negotiations in July.
Management offered a below inflation pay rise of 2.2 percent. Wages are suffering as pensions contributions have increased from 5.5 percent to 6 percent, and next year they are set to rise to 7.5 percent. This BBC Worldwide strike at the office in Wood Lane, affected the Christmas double edition of the Radio Times.
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Christmas strikes on Central Trains
Over 550 senior conductors in the RMT rail workers’ union at Central Trains are set to strike on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Conductors voted by 231 to 37 to strike over the imposition of centralised rostering.
They also voted by 177 to 68 to take action over the company’s attempt to give conductors a worse Christmas working deal than other staff.
Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, said, “This plan will have a massive impact on our members’ working lives, because it will become virtually impossible for them to move annual leave, swap shifts or arrange for Sunday and rest-day availability.”
Organising for Fighting Unions
One of a series of rallies planned to develop the Organising for Fighting Unions initiative will take place in Bristol on 14 March. Speakers include Tony Benn and Matt Wrack, the general secretary of the firefighters’ FBU union.
The rallies round the country follow the Organising for Fighting Unions conference to give an organised and national structure to the initiative.
The rallies will allow union activists to discuss demonstrations to defend the NHS and lobbies of local MPs to build support for the Trade Union Freedom Bill.
Organising for Fighting Unions rally with Tony Benn, Matt Wrack. Wednesday 14 March, The Council House, College Green, Bristol
Roger Kline UCU general secretary campaign
The London launch of Roger Kline’s election campaign for general secretary of the UCU union will be in January. Go to www.rogerkline.org.uk for more information